ToS - Land of Sylvarant (PRC119)
May 03, 2008 Hylian_Lemon
I had some difficulty choosing the order, but I settled on this. Pixelated Tales sounded the cleanest and most well-produced, as well as being entertaining (although the ending was a little awkward). Euphoria in Sylvarant was just a step below.
As for Ovaltine, it could have been my favorite, but most of the song was too original, if you know what I mean. Not enough sourceage in there. Still, it was really fun.
May 03, 2008 NeoS
May 03, 2008 JH Sounds
On the whole, the entries in this competition make for an excellent sit-through when played end to end, in the order they were submitted (and, um, boosting the gain on my submission, of course...).
May 03, 2008 xGx
V for 2nd because i think there is good use of sounds and very unique mix, but the tune was kinda lost
i picked slyland for 3rd because its nice and relaxing and there are things about it i like compared to the other entries, such as the marching piano and the chior accomanyment that follows it, they work really well together.
May 04, 2008 bundeslang
Showroom Dummy: Funny begin, the song starts slow. I like the main lead, but not the noisy background bass. There isn't much variation.
Just64helpin: The song is all the same, same instruments etc. during the whole song.
xGx: The song starts with a piano, but it comes alive on a strange moment. The second part (around 3:00) isn't variating much.
NeoS: I like the sampling from the intro. Nice beats and timing of them. Again, the song's not variating much
Binweasel: Good intro. I like the guitar and bass very much. The song variates good in the begin, but the last part isn't different. The ending is too long.
Muchi: I don't like the samples you used, the bass is too strong. Not too much happens in the song.
V___: The song starts 'dirty' and stays dirty for sure. I like the switch to the house part, it's special. I don't like the 'thing' at 1:35 and the house part gots boring afte a while.
May 04, 2008 Wolfe
Showroom_Dummy's attempt is very well done as well, and kudos for adding an additional challenge for themselves. It flows very well, and sounds very good, even if it isn't my personal taste of music.
Munchi's attempt, while short, is also very pleasing to the ear. I quite enjoyed listening to it, and found it very catchy and bouncy.
Overall, all the entries were very well done, but I believe Binweasel has the best composition here.
May 05, 2008 Binweasel
2. I'm a softy for softies.
3. This one was harder... Very nearly a tie between this and and "Euphoria". In the end, I'm afraid the loudness of the drums and synth in "Euphoria" knocked it down to fourth. Perhaps if the piano (oh, that rocking piano) had more room to breathe...
I also really liked "Sylver Lining"; very groovy. I might have picked it for third, actually, but the volume of the electricy-pianoy-thingy was too inconsistent and hurt my ears.
May 05, 2008 kylenin
May 06, 2008 Rexy
just64helpin - to say you did the "quietest entry", it actually sounds fine in terms of volume leveling through my speakers; I put it all down to the timbres of the instrument selection here. I appreciate the instruments chosen at least, but I feel in terms of EQ you could at least have given some of the middle-his to the piano to help make it stick out a bit more, similarly with some of your percussion. Arrangement is similarly safe but I can understand the style that you ended up going for; what I do kind of have issues with here is your accordion pad in the background; not sure if the chords you were dealing with on them were suited towards the background, not to mention they were doing these constant chords all the way throughout so adding some variance on their function could have also helped here. This isn't bad though, but it's a start.
xGx - You provided one of the more fickle entries around here - a mixed bag of stuff all around. Starting with that piano solo - not sure if it was supposed to be there given its mechanical programming and weak production to it in general, though I appreciate the arrangement to it. The same can be said when trying to tow in the drum and bass route a little afterwards, so that was a welcome surprise. The transition to the happy hardcore stuff (not to mention its re-entrance at 4:20) seems equally as welcome; melody seems to be maintained safe, though I do appreciate some of the chord changes near the beginning for that. The solo at 3:10 and the transition to 3/4 timing around 3:35 seem a little randomly placed but I can appreciate the guts it takes to advance onto something like that. Similarly, I'm not so sure about using audience claps as a constant use of percussion; it probably adds a little bit too much cheese into it if you know what I mean.
Production wise, everything seemed really sloppy; EQs seem fine in general, though i would have liked to see more of the middle-his given to the piano if anything. But you have to watch your recording levels when getting the track recorded in; everything sounds as if the entire track was either over-compressed or over-clipped. I'm interested to know what program you work with though; in the event that it comes with a mixer then it's probably a case of turning down the input volume, but if it's not as simple as that, I'd like to receive notification on it.
Now for NeoS. I see you're going into your classic trance route here; mind you, for something that you said was "like the good old days", this actually shows a little more depth than from what I've seen from some of your earlier stuff, so I can equally be colored surprised here. I'm saying this because although the roots of the source tune are there, it's been taken to your own due to combinations of the genre adaptation and adapting the chord changes to one per bar rather than per two bars, so that makes things firm there. It's still not quite as thoughtful as what Showroom Dummy did mind you, but it's still pretty well thought out. Production-wise I'm starting to see a solid trance setup with this, so this is most appreciated; I don't know if it's my speakers though but I thought I sensed the recording level issue creep in again, albeit at a lesser extent to what xGx did. Whichever, this sounds like solid stuff.
Binweasel, I appreciate the guts to go to a more natural approach to most personnel's more obvious electronica routes for this round, so well done on being the black sheep of the lot. Now let's get to business; while the natural more-folky stuff at the start sounds a little clashy at times with some of the instruments and slightly underprocessed on some of the instruments (namely the piano), it managed to set up for a good natural feel to it, so that was good. Leading into the soft rock sections left me fickle; I appreciate the guts it takes to get a live bassist into it, but I felt that his place seems to be a little random in comparison to the synth guitar patches (which I say are actually very decent here for what they are). I do admit that he ended up adapting a bit better in the second transition around 2:50, so yeah, that was a thoughtful surprise through and through. I would have thought some of the middle-lows could be brought out upon the synth guitar patch though to make it stand out a bit more, similarly with more thought taken to the percussion's EQ levels as well. On a composition note, the same thing to Showroom Dummy can be said here as well - simple, yet made into one's own.
munchi's track seems a little random at the beginning but I can understand what you mean with wanting to capture some kind of early-dawn feel to it. Yet, pretty much the structure of the track sounds a little too simple in comparison to its bretheren here in spite of some of the funky-house roots here, so that makes things a little awkward.
I'm not sure if I can appreciate your production much though; your drums are fine though, it's just that everything sounds a little dense for what it is. I have understanding that you submitted a late entry, but if more time was taken then we might see something a little more developed in this department.
And finally, 904. Interesting title though, did the Ovaltine drinks reach Australia too?
Randomness aside, I appreciate your way into the dirty house stuff, which can be associated with what has been done on a technical level. I see that the only references to the theme end up in the sampled-string-sample-effect that was pulled off; no worries about it though, that's pretty much what most house tracks end up doing around here these days. People may think it can get a little bit liberal with the way things went though, and I feel equally as concerned with that as well.
Production-wise, this sounds like a step-up in comparison to most other stuff I've seen from you regardless of whatever egos you've used in the past. I would have thought some care could have been taken into your drum processing; maybe try and remove some of the his from your snares here in terms of EQ and we might be more secure with that.
In conclusion, this is a very difficult round for me to decide who should actually walk away with my double points. I'd be happy to toss them all over the place if I needed to, but the system wouldn't allow me to do that. So, after listening really carefully to every single piece, I can now come through with some results from my end.
I offer my first place to Showroom Dummy for his consistant effort throughout most of his track, equally surprising for a rookie into the competition. I really hope to see more from you in the future.
Second place goes to Binweasel - awesome interpretation, albeit the percussion and some of the composition elements ultimately ended up going a little sloppy in places (notably your bassist). It was still a very warm surprise in comparison to some of the more electronic works here, so kudos on that.
And I offer third place to NeoS - while not quite as interpretive, some of the stuff that he ended up doing in there still surprised me when looking back at some of his other past works.
Again, congratulations everyone for making this a very strong PRC turnout for this season. You have surprised me through and through with the sheer volume of activity for this, and I really hope to see something like this again in the future :D